Listening to the Word of God

I have used the two of my last three postings to postings to look at the position of the Methodist Church in Britain on marriage and divorce. I have recently seen the posting on the Christian Men’s Defense Network http://cmd-n.org/2012/08/09/bitter-divorce-threatens-to-tear-new-cult-apart 

and that caused me to re-read part of the Revelation of St. John, Chapter 2, the letter to the church at Thyatira

“To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.  I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.  Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.  I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.  So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.  I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.  Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you):  only hold on to what you have until I come.  To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations–  ‘He will rule them with an iron sceptre; he will dash them to pieces like pottery — just as I have received authority from my Father.  I will also give him the morning star.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Is the church in Western Europe and the USA the spiritual descendent of the church at Thyatira? Methodists might consider where they stand when they have on their website information on the Pension and Assurance Scheme for Lay Employees of the Methodist Church (PASLEMC) which has information for “cohabiting partners” and “civil partners”. How can anyone in such a situation, unless the “cohabiting partners” are in fact celibate single siblings, be qualified to do any work for the church in the light of 1 Timothy 3:12, or indeed the more vague statement in Act 6 “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” The administration of the church is, in Scriptural terms a diaconate appointment, irrespective of the names individual denominations may choose to give such appointees.

Those who worship in other denominations, please do not think you have had a free ride, because there are several other issues that can be discussed for your affiliation.  I have chosen the Methodist Church because that is where I worship and I always believe that you start off your cleaning at home.

Have we simply given up on doing what the Word says and think we can do as we please?

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About UK Fred

A Christian who cares that the church in Britain conforms to societal demands, rather than transforms society. I am particularly concerned with the lack of support for marriage and the acceptance of divorce in the church. I also care that the body politic in Britain seems to be corrupt and in need of a good shake-up.
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2 Responses to Listening to the Word of God

  1. sunshinemary says:

    I wonder if as an employer, they are required by secular law to extend these benefits. If so, that might account for it. In the U.S., religious institutions sometimes don’t have to comply with laws that violate the tenets of their faith, although our current president is quite disrespectful of this and the new health care law requires religious institutions to pay for birth control for their employees even if they oppose it.

    • ukfred says:

      Part of the problem is just what you mention. The Roman Catholic Church adoption agencies had a similar problem recently when they were told that they were compelled by law to consider on an equal footing with married couples, cohabiting couples and same sex couples as prospective adoptive parents. I think that their action in this case was honourable in that they ceased to act as adoption agencies.

      I was concerned that a church should be employing people in circumstances where they had cohabiting and civil partners, which in the UK generally means in a sexually active hetrerosexual or homosexual relationship respectively, either male or female.

      i suppose I was thinking why does the church simply surrender to the civil law in such a case, when it could well take a stand, based on biblical principles, and then I look at what I quoted about young Methodists considering that cohabitation before marriage is both right and sensible, and I grieve for ‘my’ church. Of course this then brings us into the debate of when one should give up on a denomination as being sub-Christian and when one should push for reform.

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